I Am

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SWBAT write for task, purpose, and audience by creating an "I am" poem.

Big Idea

What will you write in your friend's yearbooks? How about a statement of you who are?


5 minutes

To get us rolling today, I want students to think about what they're planning to write in their friends' yearbooks.  It's fun to compile a list on the board of the lines that are written over and over again in yearbooks.  (This would be a good time for a reminder of the definition of "cliche" again!)

Once we have a list of these overused lines on the board, I let the class know that today we're going to write a poem that will, hopefully, give them all a new line to use when signing yearbooks!

Getting Down to Business

45 minutes

There are quite a few "I am" poem formats available online.  This year, I used one from Read, Write, Think. I really like how the kids have to think creatively to complete it instead of just literal descriptions of themselves.  

After I hand out this sheet to use as a model, I will draw their attention to the instructions for the poem and the example of the poem directly across from it.  I do let the students know that there will be an opportunity tomorrow to read the poems aloud to the class, so they will want to make sure that they are writing ideas they are comfortable with sharing.

Once I'm sure that everyone understands the task, I allow them time to work.

The best part of this lesson comes at the end of class...

I write or display the following instructions on the board:

  • When you are done with your poem, reread it and put a star by your favorite line.
  • Come to my desk and write that line in my yearbook and sign your name under it.


I collect the poems at the end of class simply because I don't want anyone to "forget" their work tomorrow.  Usually by this point in the year we have done our locker clean-out day, and my students don't have anywhere to put binders or supplies.

Don't forget to write one yourself.  You're going to need it tomorrow when you model poetry performance!